tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN February 20, 2013 8:00pm-9:00pm PST
that does it for this edition of "360." erin burnett with "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, the president hits the road to stop forced spending cuts, but is this another game of chicken with the gop, or do either have a real plan? plus, a missing woman found dead in a water tank on top of a hotel. a deadly mystery found out by hotel residents when the water tasted fun. it's right out of csi. and new developments in the oscar pistorius case tonight. what the prosecution claims it found in the olympian's house. let's go "outfront." good evening, everyone. i'm erin burnett. "outfront" tonight, a little less confrontation, a little more action. a lot of people want that. it was a song made famous by elvis presley, but apparently not something that is so popular
in washington. we're nine days away now from the forced spending cuts that are going to take effect, and while we may be short on time, we are not short on blame. president obama for one was busy today with no less than eight local television interviews. the president, according to the white house, telling his side of the story directly to the american people, blaming republicans in this interview with wcvb boston. >> the way this arose was back in 2011, the republicans were threatening to default on the full faith and credit of the united states. and we had to avoid that. the hope was that they would use this year and a half to come up with a sensible deficit reduction package. now, we've reduced $2.5 trillion on our deficit. we've got about $1.5 trillion more to go. there's a better way to do it than this, but the key is for them to go ahead and put forward the balanced, responsible approach that will avoid these cuts. >> he wants them to put forth the approach. john boehner, meanwhile with, is the them, sort of. he made his case directly to the people too, today, blaming the
president and he wrote in a "wall street journal" op-ed, mr. president, we agree that your sequester is bad policy. what spending are you willing to cut to replace it? so he's saying, mr. president, can you come up with something? whoo, this doesn't look so good, right? we've got eight television interviews, an op-ed in the largest weekday newspaper, but where is the action? robert reich is the former u.s. labor secretary to bill clinton and author of "beyond outrage," what's gone wrong with our economy and how to fix it and ari fleischer, former white house press secretary under george w. bush. all right, let's get some action here. robert, the white house responded to john boehner's challenge of saying, where are the cuts, with a blog post from dan pfeiffer who wrote, "the fact is, the president has a detailed balanced plan with spending cuts, he's willing to make tough choices. now it's time for the speaker to do the same." then he had a link to an 80-page proposal from september, including war savings, it includes tax reform, which of course they want. it doesn't fully lay it out by any stretch of the imagination. so jay carney was asked what
specifically will the white house cut and here's what jay carney said. >> it's in the proposals he submitted to the speaker of the house that the speaker walked away from -- >> where does the president prevent sequestration from happening? shouldn't the president take the lead and present that -- >> well, first of all, congress has to act. >> all right. it's frustrating, no matter what your point of view, politically is, isn't it, robert, congress says they need to do it, he says, they need to do it. >> of course, it's very frustrating, erin. the fact of the matter is, though, that the president has put forward $1.5 trillion worth of cuts and there has been an agreement on $600 billion of new revenues with the republicans. so the question is, if you want a balanced approach, you want additional revenues to balance the spending cuts and the republicans don't want to tax the rich any more than they agreed to tax the rich. at the same time, the republicans are not coming up
with any spending cuts. they're saying the white house, you have got to come up with additional spending cuts. >> ari, i have to say, the problem is, nobody wants to cut spending cuts where they need to be done, because voters like those things. whatever it might be, medicare. >> the house republicans, who actually risked their careers to do so, if you recall paul ryan's budget, the chairman of the house budget committee, actually did make major changes to some of the most sacred -- >> but when he ran for vice president -- >> the house of representatives voted for them and actually passed them. we haven't even had a budget passed in the senate on the last four years. but robert made the point about what's already been done, and those are accurate points he make. but they're absolutely insufficient. we have so much debt piled up on our nation's visa bill, the things we've done before won't even begin to pay it off. that's the size of the hole we're in and that's why we've got to start making the decisions to get government spending under control. >> the thing is, the house
republicans -- john boehner writes about what you said, house republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequesters with common sense plans and reforms. but those plans were rejected by democrats, just like the president's plan, like he's citing are a year and a half ago, was rejected by republicans. aren't they both equally as ridiculous for putting forth an old plan that's not going to pass? >> that's the essence of the problem in washington. we're living in the era of illwill ill will. there is not enough goodwill in washington for the people to come together there to make the big decisions that we need to do before we go bankrupt, which especially for young people are the ones who will bear all these burdens. i don't know what the solution is to that. i have a feeling we'll have to wait and maybe the pressure of actually triggering these automatic cuts will force the president and the leaders of congress to get together. that's the only thing left to think of. >> robert reich, i mean, what i struggle with here is, i know you could debate how you want to get there, to reduce debt, right? you could raise tax revenue, you could cut spending. you could have a conversation about that. but these guys can't have --
they say cutting 2.5% of the budget overall is -- they can't find a way to do it. and the problem's bigger than that. >> erin, absolutely. the problem is -- and i think ari is absolutely right. the democrats have loggerheads. there is almost no agreement, no overlap between the republican's position on the budget and the democrats' position on the budget. republicans do want to take on social security and medicare. the democrats would rather raise taxes on the wealthy. the democrats and republicans have shown a little bit of willingness to open up social security and medicare just a bit. but republicans do not want to in any way increase taxes again on the wealthy. they say that they have increased taxes enough. so that there's no dialogue. absolutely to dialogue going on at all. >> one thing i don't understand, though, when you look at it -- you know, they extended the tax cuts for the middle class for perpetuity, right? and that's a great thing and people want that. and a lot of people would say, this isn't a great time to raise
taxes on anybody, but they said, we're not going to raise taxes on the middle class. but when you look at where the money is eventually going to have to come from, it has to come from the middle class. a small increase on the middle class would raise more money than a 100% tax on the wealthy. eventually, taxes have to go up on everybody, by that logic. ari might say, they never have to go up. but from your point of view, robert, isn't that true? >> well, remember that social security taxes have gone up, not just january 1st, but over the last 25 years, social security taxes trended upward. that is a huge tax on the middle class and that's arguably a regressive tax. and also, you've got sales taxes all over the country going up. that is a huge tax on the poor and the middle class. so in terms of taxes, anybody who says that the middle class and the poor are not being taxed, they don't know what they're talking about. >> i'm not saying that. i'm just saying that the money, when you're looking for where money will come from in the future, that's where it is. that was bill clinton's point. that was the point i was making. >> well, with all due respect to bill clinton, i think he has -- he has something of a point, but
we are now at a point in this nation's history when the 400 wealthiest individuals have more wealth and the bottom 150 million americans put together. i mean, let's face it. this is -- most of the people in the middle class have seen their incomes and their wealth go absolutely nowhere. in fact, most people's wealth was tied up in their houses and their houses dropped in value. >> but let me jump in on why there's such a republican orthodoxy about these tax issues. it's because, even if we raise taxes on the wealthy, there's no sense that that money will go to reduce the deficit. it will all get spent. that's the history soft washington, and certainly when you listen to the president's inaugural and when you listen to the president's state of the union, he's proposed spending it before he's even brought it in. so nothing is changing under president obama. our nation still has debts we can't afford, the solution is not to find new ways to spend more money. the solution is to find ways to spend less money to save
everybody from senior citizens to the middle class to the young people who are counting on this government working for them. >> all right. well, thanks very much if both of you. i'm sorry, we had to cut you off there. we are going to take a brief break. though, still to come, about 100 passengers from the cruise ship the "triumph" filed a class action lawsuit against carnival. i have it here and i've got some questions for the lawyer representing them. he's next. plus, never before seen photos of the model shot and killed by the blade runner, oscar pistorius. we have the photographer. and breaking news, a dramatic and emotional 911 call has just been released. what the operator heard during a shooting spree in which four were killed. check out my new treadmill app. pretty sweet, huh? cute.
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ill-fated cruise ship "triumph" have filed a class action lawsuit against the cruise's operator. the suit alleges the cruise was negligent for allowing them to embark on the cruise or states. "carnival knew or should have known that the vessel 'triumph' was likely to experience mechanical and/or engine issues because of prior similar issues." a spokesman for carnival says, we are unable to comment on pending litigation at this time. i have read all of this and i was down in alabama last week. in the lawsuit, i wanted to start off with this. instead of taking the more than 3,000 passengers back to galveston, where the cruise began, carnival decided to go to mobile, alabama, because that's where the repair facility is. in so doing, carnival forced the passengers to further harm and inconvenience by putting them on a seven-hour bus ride back to galveston. a lot of passengers told me that they were given options. so we asked carnival and they said passengers were given a few
options. you could go to galveston, you could go to new orleans, or you could stay in mobile right there at carnival's expense, right there, obviously, and pay for your flight home. so passengers were given choices. are you saying that that didn't happen for these people? >> well, first of all, good evening, erin, and thanks so much for having me. i'm really happy to be here. in terms of the specifics, whether they can stay in mobile or new orleans or galveston, doesn't really make a difference as far as i'm concerned. the real misconduct, as you just said, was dragging them across the gulf of mexico for five days instead of just turning around and go back to mexico and flying them back home. and it's pretty clear that the reason for that was financially motivated. >> so you're saying that there would have been a terminal which could have taken the ship, handled the repair, and all of those things that needed to be done in mexico? >> handling the repair, i don't know about, but they certain -- they were about 150 miles north of progresso, mexico, which is a port they actually call out, versus 500 miles from mobile, alabama. so they probably could have gotten off the ship the following day, but instead of that, they went through four, five days of a living nightmare. >> and you think that was cheaper for carnival? >> certainly. >> why? >> i think it's certainly a lot
cheaper to bus people from mobile, alabama, to galveston, texas, than it is to charter flights from mexico back to galveston. >> right, but they offered them to spend the night in mobile and then fly them home. so they did offer flights. i see what you're saying, i'm just making the point they did offer flights for anyone who wanted them. >> sure. >> some of the details in your suit are very graphic and they fit with what we heard from people. you say that this resulted in harm to the plaintiffs. let me just read it to people, because i think this is worth everyone hearing. plaintiffs were forced to sleep on the deck and in other communal areas on the vessel, relieve themselves into buckets, bags, showers, sinks, were given spoiled or rotting food that was unfit for reasonably safe human consumption. due to the lack of working plumbing and sanitation systems on the vessel, sewage and/or putrid water filled with urine and feces leaked on to floors, walls, and ceilings. conditions became increasingly unbearable each day due to the lack of working ventilation system on the vessel leading to noxious odors and gases. this is what it was like, and it was awful, but did this cause lasting injury to them?
>> only time will tell. we're what, three, four days out from these people getting off the ship. common sense tells you that living around sewer for five days can cause some serious consequences and we've already seen that, from the roughly 100 or so people that have already contacted my offices, i'm hearing stories of lung infections, urinary tract infections, panic attacks. i think it's going to run the entire gamut of what we've seen. but erin, i think the big thing is really just the emotional trauma in having to go through five days of these really awful conditions. you're going to see a wide spectrum of what happened to all the people, but they all went through an awful situation at the negligence and/or intentional -- >> but how much money is that worth? carnival has reimbursed the cruise and gave them $500 and a future cruise. how much are you asking for? i know you don't know for everyone in the class, but for your particular clients? >> erin, your opinion as to what you think the value of their case is worth is just as noble or just as value as mine is. and with the u.s. legal system,
it should be a jury as to decide, here's what they went through. i would point out that i think it's worth a heck of a lot more than $500 and i would also point out that after the "concordia," that was a terrifying few-hour experience of being in the poseidon adventure, uninjured people, erin, were offered $14,000. uninjured people here were offered $500. >> but people died on that cruise. >> erin, i'm not talking about the people that died. i'm talking about the people that were uninjured. >> but they could have died. the ship sank. i mean, it was different. >> sure. of course it was different. but as an example, i think when you compare and contrast the two, it's pretty surprising. but, of course, the number of people died on the "concordia" and that was awful, but these people were moments away from that. when you put profits over safety and customer experience, you're sort of teetering on that edge at any given time. >> all right. thank you very much. we appreciate your taking the
time. we go to china where the government is denying reports of hacking attacks on america. it comes after a cybersecurity firm says it hacked into a network and it led to a building in shanghai that is associated with the chinese military. the firm says lots of stuff has been sold. our david mckenzie is covering the story. he went there and i asked him how police responded to him and his crew as they tried to shoot video of the secretive building. >> reporter: erin, the company tracked the hackers to here in shanghai, china, in fact to a building north of here which we tried to visit. in this building they said that they were highly trained hackers working over years to infiltrate data and corporate secrets. look at the reaction of the security officials as we got closer to the building. >> keep driving.
drive away. >> reporter: they demanded the tape, which we gave to them. they said this is in no way to do with them, that they don't condone hacking and in fact it is illegal here in china. they also say that millions of computers here in china are targeted from the u.s. the question is, could this be the next information war? erin? >> that is just incredible, incredible footage. next to italy where plans to pick a new pope could be speeding up. the conclave had been set to begin. ben wedeman is in rome and i asked him what else he knows. >> reporter: erin, officials in the vatican are sending out messages that they would like to hold the conclave earlier than originally projected, just a few days ago, they were talking about the 15th of march. what they would like to do is hold it a bit earlier, bringing those 117 cardinals to rome to
vote for the next pope, as quickly as possible. they definitely want to avoid what happened with pope gregory x in the 13th century when the conclave went on for three years. the last time there was a conclave, it went on for two days and that would be ideal for the vatican. they would like to have the whole process of electing the next pope and putting that pope into power over and done with by the 24th of march, by psalm sunday. erin? still to come, we talk to a photographer who spent time with both oscar pistorius and reeva steenkamp. we're going to show you the pictures that he took of her next. pictures that we have not seen before. plus, the first lady admits she's going through a mid-life crisis and says what she's doing to feel young again. ♪
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welcome back to the second half of "outfront." we start with stories that we care about, where we focus on reporting from the front lines, and we begin with an update on a story we first brought you last night, that massive gas explosion at a kansas city, missouri, restaurant. today a body was found in the
rubble. authorities say it's too early to say if it belongs to a woman working at the restaurant. she hasn't been seen since the blast, but at least 15 others were injured. now, we have obtained surveillance video of the explosion the moment it happened. you're going to notice it on the top corner of the frame. you can just see it there. we're also learning tonight, though, that a utility crew was called into the area to investigate the odor. according to the mayor, the fire department also responded to the call about the odor 50 minutes before the blast, but then left the scene because the utility company said they had everything under control. we reached out to the utility company to ask about what appears to be a lack of urgency. a spokesperson says they couldn't verify that version of events, but they are still investigating. tonight, cnn has learned that the army has revoked the promotion of paula broadwell. her involvement with david petraeus led to his resignation. broadwell has been approved to a promotion to lieutenant colonel from major last summer. she has been under investigation for having classified information in her home without permission. around army regulations, it says
that if new information comes to light within six months of a promotion date, you could be deemed ineligible for that promotion. her security clearance also has not been reinstated. well, with a new term comes a new official portrait and there's a lot of talk about first lady michelle obama's new -- it's still new -- new haircut. much of the talk surrounding the first lady's bangs came from the first lady herself. in an interview with rachael ray, obama jokes that her bangs are part of a quote/unquote mid-life crisis and she says getting a sports car and going bungee jumping are off-limits, at least while she's in the white house, i guess. the portrait was taken in the white house green room about a week ago. here's how it compares to her 2009 portrait. it's interesting that she's wearing pearls in both. i go with the new one. and in saudi arabia, about 30 women were sworn into the top advisory body by king abdullah. it's the first time in history that women have been able to participate in it. it's said that women will have full membership rights, but they still have to observe sharia law, that includes wearing a proper israeli and staying segregated from male members.
while king abdullah is hardly a feminist advocate, he believes gives more opportunity to women is a safe way to relieve some pressures in saudi arabia. for more on women's rights in saudi arabia, go to our blog at cnn.com/outfront. and you can see my blog on how saudi women are unable to get work, despite the fact they have advanced college degrees. it's been 566 days since this country lots its top credit rating. what are we doing to get it back? well, an account of the most recent credit meeting says the fed could scale back all of the stimulus it's been pumping into the economy and that sent u.s. stocks down more than 100 points. our fourth story "outfront," the case against oscar pistorius. today prosecutors in south africa had their chance to dissect the track star's claims that he accidentally shot his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, in the bathroom on valentine's day.
first, prosecutors scoffed at the idea that pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs at the time of the shooting. they say forensics will show that he was standing on his prosthetics and fired through the top part of the door, shooting down. prosecutors also claim they found two boxes of testosterone and needles in the bedroom, and they maintain they have witnesses who heard nonstop shouting that appeared to be coming from the pistorius home, not long before the supermodel was killed. police also said they found blood on his cell phone and on a cricket bat. cnn's robyn curnow was in the courtroom today. she's "outfront" in johannsburg tonight. robyn, let me ask you about the testosterone first. there's been a lot of talk about that speculation, about whether he could have been on testosterone or steroids and this could have been some sort of a roid rage. how did the defense respond to the prosecution talking about those boxes of prosecution? >> they kind of took down the investigating officer quite quickly, because they said to him in this quite amusing
exchange for the court as they watched it, they said, well, how do you know this is testosterone? and the investigating officer said, well, i just read the label. and he said, well, have you had it tested yet? and he said, no, no, not yet, we're still testing the substance. and oscar pistorius's lawyer said, if you went to any pharmacist, you could have found this is a herbal medication. >> let's talk about the other claim that could potentially be damning. the prosecutor says they have witnesses who heard nonstop shouting that appeared to be coming from the pistorius home. what did the defense say to that? >> of course, sort of the suggestion that there was a major fight, that there was some sort of domestic incident beforehand, of course, plays into the speculation that there was, you know, violence perpetrated by pistorius, deliberately. now, when it was put to the investigator, you know, who is this witness and where were they? when did they hear all of this? it turned out, and actually, the court gasped when they heard
that this witness' house was about 300 to 600 yards away from the pistorius house. >> that's far away. >> so there was a sense that perhaps they were -- it is far away. and so, was it somebody else's house that you were hearing, you know, people yelling at each other? so i think in terms of setting up some kind of precedence of domestic abuse or some sort of domestic struggle, you know, i think they were on a bit of shaky ground, particularly after the defense pushed them on it. >> 300 yards, at least three football fields away, that is really hard to hear anybody, never mind figure out if they were fighting or what they were saying. what was the reaction of oscar's family? the way you're describing it, it sounds like it was a good day for the defense. how did the family respond? >> when i was in court yesterday, they really, all of them looked shell shocked. oscar, included. and he was crying a lot.
he didn't cry much today and the family are obviously . feeling so confident that they release a press statement like this, saying, oscar's family is satisfied with the bail hearing and they also say they find the contradictions in the investigating officers' testimony extremely concerning. but what's also interesting about their statement is that this investigating officer conceded after much talk with the defense that he couldn't find any inconsistencies in oscar pistorius' version of events. and that initially he had said to a family lawyer that he didn't think that it was necessary to oppose bail. he later changed his mind. but there is this sort of sense that the case, that the prosecutor's case is unraveling and that it was slightly discredited or at least, you know, milked down, essentially, in court today. so i'm sure, you know, even if he's in a jail cell tonight, oscar pistorius might just be sleeping a little bit better. >> all right, robyn curnow, thank you very much. as we said, she's been in the courtroom in south africa. thanks. and the question that's central
to this case, you know, we were talking a little bit about it, was oscar pistorius lying when he said he wasn't wearing his prosthetic legs when he fired the gun? it may be the entire, it may be the most crucial part of this case, because in order for the prosecution to prove that pistorius committed a premeditated crime, experts say they need to prove that he took the time to strap on his prosthetics before reeva was killed. because he said, look, i didn't know she was not in the bed next to me, and you would have to move very quickly to not notice that. our tom foreman is here with more on the prosecution's events. >> you have to understand the layout of the apartment. here's oscar pistorius's version of what happened that night. he and his girlfriend are in bed asleep, it's the early morning hours, it's dark, he gets up and goes out to the balcony to close a window and bring in a fan. while he's gone, he says she
goes to the bathroom, unbeknownst to him, he comes back into the dark room and thinks she's still asleep, but hears a noise over here. he retrieves his gun, goes down the hall, walks in, sees an open window and says, an intruder has broken in, yells out, and fires, only when he goes back to the bed and realizes that his girlfriend is missing does he understand that she might be in there. he brings a cricket bat in, smashes the door down, brings her out and starts yelling for help. that's his version of what happened. but now let's consider what the prosecutors are saying. it's important. their version of events is different. they're saying the two of them were having a fight, that had been going on for a long time, that was overheard by neighbors. at some point, she retreated the into the bathroom, and locked the door, and then, he came around and, again, brought his pistol with him, and purposely fired through the door, attempting to kill her. at some point, using his cricket bat to smash down the
door. whether that was to get at her or to get at her after he shot her, that's their version of events. here's the problem, though. the problem the the prosecutors have said they can't really account for all this physical evidence in a way that proves his version isn't the right version. that's a hurdle they're going to have to get over if they want to have a successful prosecution of this case. erin? >> all right. thanks very much, to you, tom. that really made it very clear, the different versions. earlier i spoke to criminologist laurie peters. she attended the bail hearings and criminal defense attorney ted simon who also represented amanda knox and knows a lot about international law. i started out asking him about the shooting and the inconsistency raised in court today. >> there's a number of interesting facts that are developing, but i think we have to look at this from the lens of a south african criminal defense lawyer and their system. the difference here and why you're raising this question is, when it gets to bail proceedings, and when you're charged with a premeditated murder, in order to be released on bail, the defendant has the burden to show it's in the
interest of justice and, second, he can show exceptional circumstances. so he was compelled in some way to rebut the murder case and he did so by affidavit. whether or not the details of his affidavit may come back to haunt him is an another question. >> now, prosecutors also claim that they found two boxes of testosterone in the bedroom and obviously this has been getting a lot of focus, because people have said, well, look, could this have been evidence that he was in some sort of a roid rage, a steroid range. the defense disputes the claim of testosterone, they say it was just herbal supplements. but in your expertise, if it is just an herbal supplement, could it still affect a person's behavior? could it still cause some sort of loss of control or rage? >> you know, herbal supplements can have impact on metabolic rates and they can have impacts on mental processes, so, yes, it's quite possible. >> you have been watching oscar's demeanor, obviously, we
have heard about how he has broken down into intense sobbing during parts of the hearing. what is your observation of him today, compared to prior days? >> i thought he was a little bit more composed than he has been over the past two days. while i was in court today, i wasn't there all day, i was there until lunch. while i was there, they never had to adjourn at all to give him time to compose himself, which was a change from the previous two days. >> all right. so, i want to get laurie's view, since she's been in the room, of whether she believes him at this point. but first, let me ask you this, we're in a south african court, there's going to be a judge, there's going to be a magistrate if this goes to trial. how quickly is it revolved and what is the standard of proof? because i want to use that to get laurie's point of view? >> their standard is similar to ours. they have the presumption of innocence, and they have proof beyond a reasonable doubt. it's necessary for the
prosecution to prove every essential element beyond a reasonable doubt. it doesn't shift to the defendant. now, the defendant can testify, but it's not required to testify, and he has the right to be protected under the right of self-incrimination. so, in some ways, it is similar. where it's different is after this bail hearing, ultimately, the case will be tried in front of a judge and not a jury. >> laurie, let me ask you, because as ted just said, the standard is similar to that in the united states in terms of, you've got to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. you have been in that courtroom. do you have doubts? i mean, when it comes to, did he do this on purpose, was it premeditated? do you still have doubts on that? do you think he has a chance there? >> i don't have too many doubts. i think that that he intended to shoot her. just from what i've heard. the defense case doesn't make sense to me. there's so much missing. >> well, "outfront" next, more
from the murder trial. we'll show you never-before-seen photographs of pistorius' model girlfriend, taken just before her death. and a bizarre murder investigation in los angeles. a missing woman's body, found in a water tower on the roof of a hotel, found out by people in the hotel who said the water tasted funny. but this is a real quick meal, that's perfect for two! campbell's chunky beef with country vegetables, poured over rice! [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right.
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our fifth story "outfront," exclusive new photos of oscar pistorius' model girlfriend, reeva steenkamp. we're showing them public my for the first time tonight. some appear to be candid, others were from an ad campaign, which was exactly what many of them were for, although some of anesthesia ones behind the scenes are even better. the photographer who took them, jason krause, is "outfront," and i asked him a few minutes ago about meeting steenkamp's boyfriend, oscar pistorius, and what it was like working with steenkamp. >> the first time i metairieva was on a jewelry shoot, when she
arrived at my house, where i have my studio, and i walked her through to the studio and she sat there for an hour doing makeup with a friend of mine, gena myers. and i was very nervous, because this was a new area of photography for me, to be dealing with models, especially reeva, who was previously on the front cover of a magazine. and i must say, i think she kind of held my hand and led me through the shoot relatively easy. >> what was she like? as you got to know her more as a person? >> very friendly, bubbly. she was a very huggable type of person, when she came in, she just wanted to give you a hug and say hello. >> the last time you had a chance to speak with reeva, i wanted to ask what happened during that exchange. you were kind of making a joke about oscar and finding everything out about oscar and you had a pretty poignant response. >> so when -- the last time i was doing, reeva was not really involved in the shoot. it was her friend and another model. and as we were getting to the end of the shoot, they -- gena turned around to me and said,
well, reeva's coming past. and i got excited, and she said, oscar's coming with. i didn't know who oscar was. i had no idea. so they explained who he was, and the doorbell went and reeva arrived with oscar. they walked in the front door past the kitchen where my wife and 11-year-old son was and introduced them. the next day, my wife turned around to me and said, on the way to school this morning, my 11-year-old started telling her all about oscar. i was like, how does he know about oscar. he said, he did a school project on him. so i watched reeva, and said to her, reeva, a bit of a joke, i said, if you need to know anything about your boyfriend or oscar, you can just ask my 11-year-old, he's done his research. and her response was, you know, ha-ha, very funny, that's so cute, and, you know, oscar's a wonderful human, exclamation mark. and that kind of reads on my last with reeva about a month ago. >> what did you think when you heard she was killed and killed
by oscar, given that interaction? >> i was shocked. a friend called me. and it was early in the morning. and my initial reaction was, well, i hope it's not reeva. and i picked up my phone, and i i phoned reeva's cell phone and it rang through the to the answering machine and i left a message saying, i heard some news and i hope it's not true. and i kind of left it at that. and as the day progressed and the name was released on the news, it was really shocking. >> jason, thank you very much. >> okay. thank you. now to a gruesome discovery in california. right now investigators are trying to determine how the body of a missing woman from vancouver ended up inside a water tank on top of a los angeles hotel. 21-year-old alicia lamb was last seen three weeks ago at the hotel which is located not far from the notorious neighborhood known as skid row.
we have that investigation. >> it tasted horrible. it had a very funny, disgusting taste. it's very, very strange taste. i can barely describe it. >> reporter: michaeling and sebina, tourist from the u.k., never imaged the source of that indescribable taste and that it would trace back to alicia lam. she came to los angeles january 26th. she checked in at the cecil hotel. surveillance video from the hotel's elevators show her acting unusual, as if she's hiding from someone. then she disappeared january 31st. they never saw lamb, but they knew something at their hotel was off. >> there was something wrong. the pressure in the water was terrible. the shower was awful. >> the hotel's maintenance man
respondinging to guests' complaints went to check the rooftop tanks. tanks that are unlocked. the rooftop is the maintenance man found her body inside one of the tanks at the bottom. locked to guests. >> it made me feel really sick yesterday, and until now knowing that weave we've been drinking this water for eight days. >> it makes you feel physically sick, literally physically sick. more than that, you feel psychologically, you know -- you think about it, and it's not good. >> the l.a. county department of public health says the hotel was immediately placed on a flush only order, but not ordered to shut down. a reasonable solution, says the health department, if the hotel provides bottled water. the hotel would not speak to cnn on or off camera, but it did notify guests about a "health and safety condition." guests tell us if they leave, they don't get a refund. if they stay, they must sign this legal agreement releasing the hotel of legal liability. it says if guests stay, "you do so at your own risk and peril." this gruesome discovery is the latest chapter in a dark history for the cecil hotel. at least two serial killers have
lived here, including night stalker, richard ramirez, found guilty of killing 13 people in the 1980s. he lived on the 14th floor of the hotel. >> he was living here during his killing spree going out at night and killing people. >> so this is just the latest unusual chapter in a storied history? >> it is, and i think it's the sort of thing that's going to be hard to forget because it's just such a graphic and disturbing story, and i hope we find out what happened. >> and we have breaking news now. the 911 tapes of a southern california shooting spree are now just public. the shooting spree was yesterday. we just have these tapes. four people are dead, including the gunman. police say he went on a rampage of shooting and carjacking. miguel marquez is "outfront" of this story in los angeles. these are disturbing tapes that you have. >> reporter: yeah. we should warn folks that these are fairly disturbing. this is where it all began.
this is the mother of the shooter as she calls the 911 operator, and she is in a panic. >> he was shot? >> yes. >> in your house? >> i heard a gunshot. >> okay. what is the alarm going off in the background? >> it's in my house. >> okay. so do you think somebody was shot in your house? >> yes. >> now, police say that 20-year-old ali syed went off after that 5:30 a.m. 911 call to kill two other people. one of them melvin waerdz. he carjacked his bmw, took him out of the car and shot him execution-style on the side of an l.a. freeway and then a short time later shot a construction worker, jeremy lewis, shot and killed him. he shot two or three other people along the way. they only sustained minor injuries. he even went so far as to stop at one point on the freeway, two big freeway exchanges, and just began randomly firing at vehicles as they passed by.
amazingly, nobody was killed in that particular part of the incident. he eventually killed himself before police could get their hands on him. erin? >> miguel, thank you. still to come, tonight's essay on the post office. mile . while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle...and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. now this...will work. [ male announcer ] just like you, business pro. just like you. go national. go like a pro. i work for 47 different companies. well, technically i work for one. that company, the united states postal service® works for thousands of home businesses. because at usps.com® you can pay, print and have your packages picked up for free.
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the post office is in a lot of trouble. last year it lost $16 billion. it thinks it may have found a solution to its money problems. a clothing line. the post office has announced it's going to team up with the wacona group to release a line of apparel and accessories called rain, heat, and snow. the line will be based on the post office uniforms and displayed in a showroom in new york city with the goal of eventually selling in high-end department and specialty stores. they say that will put them on the cutting edge of functional fashion. now, look, i'm a fan of the post office. i love catalogs. the physical ones that clog my mailbox, i love them. it might not be a good sign when the people most associated with your clothing brand is that guy. the post office thinks they have a new take on fashion. the postal service spokesperson says yahoo news it will aim well beyond baseball caps, but
wearable electronics. now, that's pretty cool because where are you going to find technology like that? well, except for almost every other jacket currently available. now, the post office doesn't have a reputation for being too speedy, so it might be a good idea to jump on a trend that was launched more than 30 years ago. what makes the post office so confident? maybe this. today we spoke with andrew burns, a retail analyst for da davidson. he said overall integrating technology into clothing is a growing trend. performance apparel is up double digits. both good signs for companies that begin with a p, but maybe not a p like post office because i'm a skeptic here, i'm sorry. i can't believe if you're in the market for a new coat you're going to go with the post office over columbia or north face. basically, post office don't do it. yoir not a mu you're not a musician or an athlete. you don't need your own clothing line and selling coats with
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